Program Celebrates Fifth Year Helping Metro Atlanta Businesses Grow Global Operations
ATLANTA (July 13, 2021) — The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) today announced 12 grant recipients joining the 2021 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (Atlanta MEC) class. The Atlanta MEC provides small- and medium-sized metro Atlanta businesses with funding and tailored mentorship to help develop international business prospects. Each company receives a reimbursement grant of $5,000 to be spent on activities aimed at fostering international sales growth, specialized trade consulting and travel vouchers provided by Delta Air Lines.
Now entering its fifth year, the Atlanta MEC has awarded over $640,000 to more than 100 metro Atlanta businesses – representing more than 3,000 local jobs. Grant recipients have spent the funds on travel to nearly 50 international markets, attending trade shows, distributor and customer meetings. Recipient businesses have done most of their international business in the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Canada, France, Singapore and South Korea. Seven Atlanta MEC businesses have been acquired.
The 2020 MEC businesses innovated new ways to apply program resources when the COVID-19 pandemic halted international travel. Companies employed MEC grants to update their websites toward increasing accessibility and discoverability by international customers, ensure alignment with European data privacy regulations, add certifications and conduct virtual product presentations to international prospects.
For the 2021 Atlanta MEC, MAC assembled the largest group of sponsors and partners in program history – across local, state and federal levels – to support the initiative. Program partners include the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, Decide DeKalb, Delta Air Lines, Georgia District Export Council, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Partnership Gwinnett Select Fulton, Select Cobb and the U.S. Commercial Service.
“Building upon metro Atlanta’s continued momentum as a global trade hub depends on nurturing a pipeline of innovative businesses and equipping entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources they need to bring their products and services to the world,” said MAC President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick. “The Atlanta Metro Export Challenge is the perfect vehicle through which to accomplish this, as evidenced by the notable success of participant companies. I salute the 2021 class and thank our regional, state and federal partners and sponsors for making this important initiative possible.”
An independent selection committee identified the 12 grant recipients from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Recipient companies represent a wide range of industries, including finance and insurance; information technology; manufacturing; professional, scientific, and technical services; retail trade; and wholesale trade. Recipient company ownership reflects the vibrant, diverse population of metro Atlanta. Three companies identify as minority-owned, three as women-owned and one as veteran-owned.
The 2021 Atlanta MEC Class:
About the Metro Atlanta Chamber
The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta’s quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on expanding the region’s innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta’s innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and promoting Atlanta’s story. For more information, visit www.MetroAtlantaChamber.com.
About the Atlanta Metro Export Challenge
The Atlanta Metro Export Challenge program further grows metro Atlanta’s reputation as a hub of international commerce by providing select area companies with financial and consulting resources to grow their international business operations. Companies in the program receive targeted trade counseling from MAC’s Global Commerce team, access to a dedicated International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service, an industry-specific trade manager at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and a mentor at the Georgia District Export Council. These experts help companies apply program grant funding in the most impactful manner, with the goal of growing export activity as much as possible throughout the one-year program.